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[Update: Available but out of stock] $100 Android Go-powered Alcatel 1X goes on sale at Amazon US next week

Alcatel and TCL have been teasing the 1X since just MWC. It was the first of the Android Go phones to be revealed, but now it looks like it will be the 2nd to hit stateside—following ZTE's Tempo Go, which you can't actually buy anymore. Thankfully, today TCL and Alcatel have just announced that the Alcatel 1X will be landing in the US on Amazon next week, delivering Android Oreo Go edition and an 18:9 display for only $99.

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Samsung Pay introduces Cash Back Awards in the US with offers at several merchants

Samsung Pay is clearly one of the company's most successful ventures so far and it keeps on getting better. When you use this mobile payment service to purchase things, not only do you accumulate Samsung Rewards points that you can use later, but you also earn whatever your credit or debit card offers in terms of cash back. Now, one more benefit will be added to the list: some retailers will begin offering cash back awards if you purchase from them, thus compounding the benefits.

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[Update: Actually 9th] Google Home adds its 7th video streaming service in the US: Starz

Yelling at your Google Home to play a series or movie on your Chromecast-connected TV is one of those First World luxuries that become more and more mundane as you use them. Up until now in the US, you've been able to play YouTube TV, Netflix, CBS All Access, CWTV, HBO Now, and Viki — and now the seventh service is making its way through: Starz.

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ZTE Tempo Go is the US’s first Android Go phone, on sale today for $80

For a while, ZTE and Alcatel seemed like they were in a bit of a race to be the first company to release an Android Go phone in the US. Two weeks ago, Alcatel announced that its 1X would be coming stateside sometime soon, and ZTE had the Tempo Go listed but unavailable on its US site since just after its announcement. Today you can finally buy one, and it's only $79.99.

That officially makes the ZTE Tempo Go the first Android Go phone in the US.  

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[Update: Now available for everyone] Google Maps Go beta expands to the US

Google started a beta program for Google Maps Go—the lightweight low-data version of Google Maps—back in January, but at the time you couldn't actually install it on non-Go phones or in most countries. That was a bit disappointing; while the app itself might be nothing more than a shell for the PWA accessible via Chrome, it was still bound to come in handy as a shortcut for those on slower connections. Now Google has decided to let more of us in on the fun, as the beta program on Google Play has expanded to the US.

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Latest OpenSignal State of the Mobile Networks report shows T-Mobile still on top, Verizon and AT&T recovering

OpenSignal's bi-yearly carrier report for the US was just released, and T-Mobile's rampage from last year seems to be continuing. Although both Verizon and AT&T are seeing some recovery in network speed after the reintroduction of their unlimited plans last year, T-Mobile has again topped nearly every category in OpenSignal's testing. Sprint, though still in 4th overall, is also making great strides in both speed and availability.

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WhatsApp Business launches officially for Android in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the USA [APK Download]

WhatsApp Business was officially announced in September of 2017 but back then you had to sign up for a beta, register your interest, and hope to be picked to give it a try. Now the app is made official and it's launching for Android in 5 countries to begin with, with a roll out "around the world" in the coming weeks. The lucky five are: Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US. Yes, the US, where everyone says they don't use WhatsApp. I also find it odd that the launch post mentions how businesses in India and Brazil rely on WhatsApp a lot for their communications, but then these two countries aren't among the list to get it first.

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Samsung smartphones will have their FM chip enabled in the US and Canada, in partnership with NextRadio

Some things baffle me about the US. The blind love of SMS is one, and the fact that the FM chip in smartphones isn't activated on many devices in the country for some reason (read: operator greed) is another. But things have been moving in the right direction: LG announced a partnership with NextRadio to unlock the FM chip in its smartphones a few months ago and now the same is happening with Samsung.

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Barclaycard US, 58 other banks add support for Android Pay

Google's Android Pay team is keeping the momentum going, with support for 59 more banks added. While most of the banks in question are regional banks hailing from Texas and other southwestern states, the most nationally known is likely Barclayscard US. This update brings the total number of participating banks to 1,131.

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Android Pay adds 34 new banks and credit unions in the US, including Charles Schwab Bank

If I've learned one thing from writing posts about Android Pay, it's that there are far more banks and credit unions in the US than I thought there was. Google already supports a massive number of them in Android Pay, but apparently there are still more to add.

Today Google has added 34 more banks and credit unions to the list, including one notable holdout, Charles Schwab Bank. Here are all of the others:

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